The House Judiciary Committee’s censorship investigation is expanding, as Rep. Jim Jordan probes the Center for Countering Digital Hate’s alleged role in government censorship.
The Ohio Republican wrote a letter to the Center’s CEO Imran Ahmed requesting he hand over any documents involving whether the nonprofit watchdog assisted federal government censorship efforts.
“Certain third parties, including organizations like yours, appear to have played a role in this censorship regime by advising the government and social media companies on so-called “misinformation” and other types of content — sometimes with direct or indirect support or approval from the federal government,” Mr. Jordan wrote on Thursday. “Whether directly or indirectly, a government-approved or facilitated censorship regime is a grave threat to the First Amendment and Americans’ civil liberties.”
The Center is a nonprofit watchdog whose detractors accuse it of aggressive tactics to quash disfavored speech online.
Mr. Jordan said the judiciary committee wants information about the Center’s interaction with the government and social media companies to understand how federal officials worked to silence digital expression.
Congressional scrutiny facing the Center comes days after Elon Musk’s X Corp. sued the Center and said the nonprofit unlawfully accessed data to fuel a defamation campaign to scare away advertisers from Twitter.
“The Center for Countering Digital Hate (CCDH) and its backers have been actively working to assert false and misleading claims encouraging advertisers to pause investment on the platform,” X said in a blog post.
The Center has said it will not let Mr. Musk bully it. The watchdog accused the owner of the social media platform X, formerly Twitter, of seeking to stop critics and research into the platform.
“The Center for Countering Digital Hate’s research shows that hate and disinformation is spreading like wildfire on the platform under Musk’s ownership and this lawsuit is a direct attempt to silence those efforts,” Mr. Ahmed said in a statement on Tuesday.
The Center did not immediately respond to request for comment on Saturday.
Alongside Mr. Jordan’s probe of the Center, he is continuing to push Big Tech companies for records of their interactions with the federal government. Mr. Jordan has published excerpts of documents turned over by Meta’s Facebook in a series of posts on Mr. Musk’s X, which Mr. Jordan said revealed the Biden administration’s desire to control content online.
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